I came across this very fun and well done video on YouTube explaining UBI – Universal Basic Income.
UBI or Freedom Dividend – is one of the main reasons why I started paying attention to Andrew Yang, as he was the one pushing for it. Ever since he suspended his campaign on February 2020, more and more people are discussing his ideas and getting involved in politics even.
But again, UBI is not a new concept. There are people in American history who have pushed for a Universal Basic Income – such as Martin Luther King, Jr.
One of the main arguments against UBI is thinking that people are just going to become lazy once they get free money. Studies have shown that that is not the case – instead of creating a ceiling (like welfare programs with strings attached), it creates a floor where people can stand up.
Now that we are going through a worldwide pandemic, UBI isn’t sounding as radical as it did before.
I’ve been trying to analyze why I and so many others are into Andrew Yang and his ideas. I mean, it just makes total sense?
Here’s a personal example: my husband hasn’t had a fulltime job for about a year now. As a matter of fact, he’s been laid off twice. The first job let him go because they were shutting the company down, the second time was due to them automating the tasks he would typically do for his job. In Andrew Yang’s book The War On Normal People he talks about automation taking people’s jobs and it’s already happening – self-checkout, self-driving cars and trucks, AI customer service, robots that do repetitive tasks like chopping up food, etc.
And while automation has made life a lot easier and convenient, it’s also putting people out of jobs a lot faster.
So if you’re wondering why I would like everyone to receive $1000 a month from the US government instead of a Federal Job Guarantee from Bernie Sanders? This is why.
People who oppose the Freedom Dividend / Universal Basic Income assume that people are just going to fuck off, become lazy and not work. I don’t think that’s true as many people – including myself – would love to have an extra $1000 to:
+ Pay down some debt – like a student loan or credit card bill + Use it to pay for an unexpected expense – car repair, medical bill, etc + Save it for an emergency. + Invest it in the stock market + Take a class or workshop in your personal interests + And so much more.
It doesn’t solve all the problems but it’s better than nothing. Why is it so hard to just give people money?
It’s safe to say that a lot of Yang Gang are experiencing a range of emotions ever since Andrew Yang suspended his presidential campaign. I know he had good reason to do so but still, a lot of us are feeling a certain type of way about it. We all feel like we’re in limbo or something, wondering what’s going to happen next.
For one, I’ve never given a crap about politics…EVER. Not until Andrew Yang entered the scene. And a lot of people who follow him now say the exact same thing.
Many people (mostly Yang Gang) are still hoping that he would unsuspend his campaign but at this point, it doesn’t seem that way. Per his final Nevada townhall a few days after suspending, he does plan on announcing something within the next two to six weeks though.
Over the weekend, I watched this 2 hour long YouTube video of Paget Kagy interviewing Dr. Quintus Jett and there are a lot of valuable insights as to what happened to Andrew Yang’s campaign and what could still happen, which is why I got excited about the possibility of Andrew Yang rebooting his campaign because Dr. Jett broke it down in such a way that sounded like it was still very possible – reboot the campaign not to win as president but to simply continue letting people know about his Freedom Dividend / Universal Basic Income.
The Freedom Dividend – giving $1000 to every American over the age of 18 with no strings attached – is what initially attracted me to Andrew Yang. My friend called it a handout. And while it probably sounds that way, I know plenty of people who would love to receive that $1000 a month.
Finally, a plan that actually gives something to people – money in their hands to do whatever they want with it.
Needless to say, I’ve been obsessed all week since the campaign suspension; I’ve been watching videos on YouTube and just trying to understand what worked and what didn’t. A lot of us (myself included), donated to Andrew Yang’s campaign whether it was time, money, effort. I donated money, which is something I’ve never done before. That’s how much I believed in Andrew Yang’s message.
While the whole experience of following Andrew Yang’s political journey is a personal choice, I also see it as a study in marketing, advertising, psychology, social media, running fast moving political campaigns and a peek into how mainstream media (MSM) operates.
My thoughts on MSM? They don’t like diversity as much as they claim to. Andrew Yang was blacked out, literally ignored almost every single time MSM would talk about the presidential candidates. He was also given the least amount of speaking time during the debates. It was infuriating to witness over and over and that’s why I think Yang Gang fought even harder for Andrew.
I wrote this down so I can finally be at peace with it and let go of my own expectations, so I guess we’ll see what happens next. I hope to stay engaged just to see what Andrew Yang plans on doing but after this, I might go back to being disengaged in politics unless someone else interesting comes along.
The people who know me well know that I like learning new things. The main problem with that is my inconsistency to see things through completion; meaning I have a difficult time finishing things. It happens mostly with books and courses. Like there are so many things I want to do and learn, it’s frustrating that I seem to have zero focus as I literally want to learn everything. That’s what happens when you call yourself a ‘Jack of all trades’ I guess.
I’ve been looking at and considering some classes and programs I want to take for 2020, so I’m saving them here.
all while I WAS NOT actively promoting or posting for days or for even 2 weeks on Instagram. After my friend passed away, I just didn’t have the same energy for it anymore. I’m in limbo at the moment.
And yet, people still found me.
So what does that mean?
It means that planting seeds and waiting for them to grow still works. Most people don’t see the long game very much, they want instant results. And so they expect to be successful in 6 months or less.
Sometimes I’m still impatient and feel the same. Patience is hard.
Planting seeds is a metaphor for growing your online business or some kind of creative endeavor; you will be spending a lot of time cultivating it with really good content and products. You will spend time caring for it by putting your time and energy into it. But then at some point, you just have to release it and let it go…hang back for a bit and see if your seed planting worked.
And that’s exactly what I did, although it was unexpected.
I did not expect for people to be hitting me up for anything right now. I honestly thought that I would have more time to just sulk, be sad and grieve my friend who I’m missing so much right about now. But the days are moving fast, 2020 is right around the corner and the universe has sent people my way and so I must be in service to them. It must be my Aquarius Ascendant.
So while most digital marketers will tell you to post consistently and a lot, I will say from personal experience: it’s okay to go quiet sometimes, especially when you don’t feel like posting. Don’t force yourself and don’t feel bad that you haven’t posted.
If you planted a good seed, then people should be able to find you. You don’t have to constantly post on Instagram to sell to your followers.
If you work as a creative, here’s a quick way to come up with something without having to Google it:
I find that this is the easiest method to come up with a design or idea for your project. I also find that searching for things on Google for too long can be a total timewaster and actually hinders you from creating. The time spent searching and looking at images could’ve been spent just making the damn thing, at least for me.
So for example: you need to make artwork for a company that targets men. Let’s say it’s for an adult entertainment audience but since nudity or anything explicit is not allowed, it has to be more subtle. Clever, even.
I’m using this example because I work for an adult entertainment company, it’s what I know.
My mind starts thinking of things that men could relate to: the colors blue, red, green, gray, yellow, black. I also start thinking about masculine animals – like a rhinoceros, a lion, or an alligator…just something powerful.
If it’s going to be used as marketing material, it has to invoke something that the audience desires – like power, strength, sexuality.
So I settled on creating a rhino for my project.
Step 01: always think of your target audience first.
This is the most important part of generating ideas – you must always think of who your audience is.
In plain terms: who are you making this for? Who is the customer?
In this case, it’s males who have sex on their mind and are looking for adult entertainment.
Step 02: think of a few words related to your target audience.
This is the part where you think of words – colors, shapes, cars, animals, brands; literally anything that makes you think of that audience.
I was thinking of horny men, so I was thinking of an animal that was powerful but also had horns. Do you see the word association? It just so happens that a rhinoceros is a large, powerful and heavy animal with giant horns. You can see there’s a lot of symbolism there that men can relate to whether they’re aware of it or not.
Step 03: narrow it down to the strongest idea.
If you have a few ideas, you’ll have to narrow it down to one. You might even have to ask someone for their opinion. It would be perfect to ask someone who fits your target audience’s profile – a man in their late 20’s to early 30’s.
You don’t even have to tell them what it’s for, just show it to them to see what they think.
Step 04: execute your idea.
Now that you have your idea, you can purchase the perfect stock photo or illustration. But if you don’t have the money to buy it, you’ll have to recreate it. In my case, I had to re-create the rhino image in Adobe Illustrator.
Word association is the easiest method to generate ideas for your marketing & advertising efforts. I’m sure there are other methods, but at the moment this is the one that I’d like to share with you.
I launched my online only crystal shop on April 22nd, 2017 – I wanted to share some things I’ve learned since then.
Treat all of it as an experiment so you won’t get disappointed, at least not as much.
It’s going to be up and down. Some months you will make consistent sales and you’ll feel happy and accomplished, other times not so much. You will go through a slump, you’ll feel disappointed with yourself and your efforts and often wonder: ‘WTF am I doing wrong’?
There could be a lot of factors as to why you’re not making sales right now; the market you’re in could be oversaturated. Or nobody is really buying right now either. You don’t have to know it all, but it helps to pay attention to the current economic climate and what people are spending their money on.
Lots of people are selling the same thing online too. You’ll have to think of ways to stand out somehow. Get creative, play and experiment with different ways you could tell people about your small business. Social media is great for that.
Focus on doing what you enjoy the most.
This may or may not be true for everybody but having a small business means you’ll probably be doing everything: taking products photos, listing products, packing, shipping, admin and accounting, graphics, email and social media marketing, web design, video editing. The list goes on and on and it can start to feel overwhelming.
Like, there’s SO MUCH to think about. What should you do, what should you focus on?
Some things are a drag, like accounting and taxes but are necessary. As long as you stay organized and keep good records of your sales & purchases, you can stay on top of it.
If you have the resources to do so, maybe pay someone to do the stuff you don’t like to do or if they don’t mind learning and doing things for free, maybe teach or mentor them?
If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of doing it all, pick one thing you really like to do and do that, consistently.
For me, I enjoy taking photos of the crystals, then listing and writing about them. Even though I didn’t build the website from scratch, I still put a lot of effort into customizing it as well as creating & writing unique visual content and posting on Instagram. I did a lot of SEO on it too.
Don’t quit your day job.
There was a time when I thought being an entrepreneur would be a good fit for me, even though I have only worked fulltime my entire life and freelanced when I was in between jobs. I wanted to quit my job so bad during my first year, thinking that my small business selling crystals would sustain me and my family and that I would be able to just work from home.
I mean, a bitch can dream right? Well, turns out I was naive and completely wrong about it. I’m glad I didn’t quit or else I’d be screwed. How would I provide for my family, how do I pay my bills?
Some people will say that you don’t need to spend money to start your business, and while that may be true – you’re going to have to put A LOT of effort. If you spend money, things will go faster meaning your business will really pick up. That’s just my opinion on it, I could be wrong.
Here’s a personal example of what I mean: I spent money on Google Ads and sure enough, I was getting traffic to the website and I made some sales.
Not quitting your day job means you can put those expenses (like buying Google Ads) on a credit card and pay it off with your paycheck.
Whatever profit you make from your sales, usually goes back to buying more inventory to sell, for advertising and for other costs of running a small business. But you also have to pay taxes, so you need to put some money aside to pay your federal & state.
It might take years before your small business is finally sustainable so until then, keep on working.
There’s probably a lot more to this, I just can’t think of it right now. It’s easy to get swept away and romanticize entrepreneurship or having a small business. The reality is far from it. I’m just writing this based on my experience so far with my own small business.
It’s true, everyone and their mom is on social media.🙄
But if you’re anything like me, you’re still blogging in 2019. First of all – why and who cares? It’s not like I get a lot of traffic here, as everybody either hangs out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or divide their between all of them. Blogging is DEAD.💀
Let me just say that blogging is not dead, it’s just not as popular.
Reason to blog #1:
People still search for things, and blogs are usually the ones that pop up during a Google search.
Blogs help solve a problem someone is currently having; the writer usually writes a step by step solution to the same exact problem you searched for. That is so freakin helpful to me.
You can also write a blog that might be helpful to someone else down the line.
Reason to blog #3:
I personally like to practice my writing via blogging – it’s just not easy to type long blocks of text over your phone for a social media post. Blogging or writing gets the brain going and fleshes out ideas in your head.
Reason to blog #4:
If you have a few website properties – blogging will help boost your websites by bringing free traffic via Google search. Again, people still use search to either buy or look for a specific item or solve a problem or get more information so writing new content will help people find your website. It also helps to do some SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
How do I know blogging works? As some of you probably know, I have an online crystal shop that I’ve been experimenting with for almost 2 years now. I haven’t blogged consistently on there because day job, but the few blog posts I did write still get a lot of search engine traffic, like these two:
I did keyword research on the above blog posts. Keyword research is finding the right keywords that people tend to search for often, then creating content that tailors to those exact keywords.
Blogging in 2019 is still legit. You should create blog content if:
+ You have an online business + You have website properties and cannot afford to buy paid traffic always + You want to share some kind of specific knowledge that might be useful to someone else + You just love to write and have LOTS of things to say
Let me start off by saying that I am not an expert at selling whatsoever, but for some reason I wanted to write this down as a blog post.
I will also reference crystals & stones here because that is what I sell and that is what I know and have experience with.
Tip 1: Take pictures in natural lighting
You don’t have to add ridiculous filters to make your product photos stand out. Keep it simple. I personally just take photos with my iPhone in natural or indirect sunlight.
Tip 2: Have an online location where customers can buy
People often tend to post pictures of what they’re selling, but as soon as someone wants to buy – they don’t have anything ready for the person inquiring.
If you don’t have an online location (Ebay, Etsy, your own website), then at the very least let people know you accept payments through PayPal.
Tip 3: Get to know the USPS, their box sizes and their shipping methods.
I have to admit, shipping was the most confusing thing for me to understand when I first started selling; I’m not very good with math & measurements so I left it to my husband to figure it out since he has more experience selling stuff online.
Eventually (about 2 years later), I finally got the hang of it and it basically goes like this:
+ Anything over 13 oz will be sent Priority Mail + Anything under 13 oz can be sent First Class.
Of course you can read up on the other types of shipping but these are the most commonly used ones.
Which leads me to Tip 4: Get a scale
In the mineral world, price is often determined by the weight of the crystal or stone. When you’re sending out packages, it’s important to know the weight and dimensions of the package you’re sending out so postage can be calculated accordingly.
So get yourself a scale, the one we have is digital.
There’s probably more things I could add to this, but I can’t think of them at the moment. I will keep adding once I remember.
If you want to get serious about making money online or having passive income, then a system needs to be in place in order to receive payments as well as to mail out products.
It seems as if I learned how to code, only to use WordPress.😐 The main site I’ve coded and worked on for years, is now a WP site and not by my choice. It is what it is and I’m not mad really; I’m grateful that for those 5 years, I was able to gain a lot of hands on experience coding and building sites from scratch.
Which means I have more time on my hands now to revisit and hopefully relearn some subjects and to me that’s actually a good thing; we have to recognize opportunity when it presents itself.😊 I was browsing Craigslist and noticed how some employers want to hire someone who A) can code and B) doesn’t rely entirely on frameworks (Bootstrap, WordPress), so I’m hopeful that my skills are still useful.
Was it worth paying for that 10 week course? Yes, I was able to use what I learned for work, but apparently WordPress is better suited. Again, what do I really know? I’ve learned to put my need for control aside and to just go with the flow.
You’re probably wondering: why don’t I show any of the sites I’ve worked on? Since I work in adult entertainment, I can’t really show anything.😐
Who’s to blame for my lack of knowledge? There’s no one to blame but me. If I really wanted to become an expert with web development, I would’ve really invested my time after work. But really though, who has time to do that when you already do a little bit of everything? I suppose it all depends on what motivates you and how bad you want it.
I’m also motivated to keep on learning, it’s the Sagittarius in me.♐️
I don’t blame myself entirely for not knowing everything – I have so many useful skills already – I mean, look at all the books I’ve accumulated over the years for the sake of learning my craft (though I never finished reading any one of them). I’m proud and happy of how far I’ve come. But even though I know how to do a lot, I still feel inadequate sometimes or even better – I get impostor syndrome. Getting older will do the trick, too.😶